major family problems (sorry it's long!)

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luckygohappy Posts : 8 Registered: 3/10/09
major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 4:43 AM

I am engaged to a wonderful man, and we are planning a wedding for this June. However, instead of being excited about the wedding, I'm dreading it. I really love my fiance and can't wait to be his wife, but I don't know if I want the big wedding anymore, or even if it will be a good idea due to problems with my family.

My parents divorced about 5 years ago, and my mom can't stand to be around my dad. I wanted them both to walk me down the aisle, but my mom said no. It got to the point where I felt that they'd both be hurt if the other got the honor, so I decided that my fiance and I will walk down the aisle together.

Also, my mom and my sister can't get along worth anything! They're holding hate-filled grudges for things that are in the past (some over 10 years ago). Also, my mother doesn't approve of my sister having had two children out of wedlock, especially since there's two different fathers and both are irresponsible. They talk hatefully behind the other's back, to anyone and everyone, and I've gotten dragged into the middle of it more times than I can count.

The other day was the absolute worst. My mom's parents came to visit (they live out of town, and we see them maybe once a year), and my mom lied to my sister about what time they'd be in. When my sister finally caught on (1-2 hours later) and showed up with her kids, it really hit the fan. She cut my mom off from her children (who are both under the age of 3), and my mom slapped her right in front of the baby. It got worse, and it was all I could do to keep it together for the kids and keep them both calm. My grandparents left early, and my grandma was close to tears over everything.

That day in particular made me think... if my mom and sister are that hateful (and selfish) that they can't keep things civil for one day for my grandparents (not to mention they've gotten to the point of arguing in front of the children & my mom's referred to them as mistakes), chances are really high that they'll bring it to my wedding and cause a scene.

Not to mention that my sister is my maid of honor, and she's starting to treat it as if it were her wedding and ignore my wishes. She's invited her baby's father to the wedding (despite me telling her I was unsure about having him there because those two don't always get along either), and also for some reason asked his sister to do my nails & makeup! Also, she asked our dad behind my back to walk me down the aisle!!! I know he'd like to, and I know my sister doubts she'll ever get married, but it's my decision, and she knew that I was torn on the issue (so she probably did it out of spite toward my mom).

Eloping keeps looking better and better... but the thing is, my fiance comes from a close-knit family, and he's worried that they would be hurt if we eloped.

I just don't want to be in tears on my wedding day (unless of course they're tears of joy!)

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 7:36 AM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Dear LGH,

I want you to repeat something to yourself, over and over.

The behavior over which you have any control is your own.

You cannot control your sister. You cannot control your mother. You cannot control anyone but yourself.

If other people act like idiots, they look like idiots. Not you, them.

Your sister went behind your back and asked your father to walk you down the aisle. What next? She's going to buy a car in your name? Sign you up for Tupperwear without your knowledge? Any deal made behind your back without your approval is null and void. You know that, your dad knows that.

I have several suggestions.

Your mother refuses to walk you down the aisle with your father. She has the right to refuse. Now, you need to decide if you want to walk with just your father (in which case, do your own asking) or if you want to walk alone. Many brides walk alone, and there's nothing wrong with that. Even brides who get along great with both parents walk alone, just because they dislike the symbolism of being "given away". My personal vote for you is to walk alone, but my vote doesn't count. It is your decision and your decision alone.

There are other alternatives. You and FH can walk in together. You can walk halfway alone, then meet him in the middle of the aisle and walk the rest of the way together.

Finally, I strongly suggest you see a professional counselor. You have enough drama in your life for three people, and you need to focus on your own needs, that of FH and your future life together. You can't be diverted into fixing your mom, fixing your sister, etc etc etc. I suggest you investigate professional counseling. If you have no idea who to see, perhaps ask the person officiating at your wedding. That person may be able to refer you to someone they know professionally.

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luckygohappy Posts : 8 Registered: 3/10/09
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 7:56 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I did mention that FH and I will be walking down the aisle together (early on in the post... sorry it was a bit confusing). I really like the idea of us starting at opposite ends of the aisle, meeting in the middle, and walking the rest of the way together (IMO, it's much better symbolism than the bride being given away).

Also, I am about to start counseling (for other reasons, but this will be brought up as well) as soon as they can get me in.

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 8:58 AM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Your dad seems to be the only one who can act responsibly, am I right? If your mom isn't mature enough to put away old grudges for ONE FREAKIN DAY then let her sit and sulk. It's her choice, not yours.

I would tell your family that if they can't get along for the day of your wedding, they will be escorted out. Find a large friend (or hire a security guard for one day) who will be charged with keeping the peace and instruct him to carry them out if need be. And hopefully all of this will be done without you even noticing.

If they can't act like adults, they don't deserve to be treated like adults.

 

IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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kwidener21 Posts : 98 Registered: 1/26/09
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 10:27 AM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Your Mother and Sister sound very much like school children. I would sit everyone down and say this is what i'm going to do, tell them your plans. If you want both of your parents to walk you down the aisle tell them and which ever disagrees will lose out. Then stand your ground. Tell everyone that they are very much invited but you expect them to act like grown adults and if there is any fighting or bickering that they will be escorted out. Tell them that you love them but this is about you and your FH and that you will not have any of this childish behavior.

Hope everything works out!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 11:08 AM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Dear LGH,

"I really like the idea of us starting at opposite ends of the aisle, meeting in the middle, and walking the rest of the way together "

Excellent, and no I did not see that part of your original post.

Go for it.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 3:00 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

If you do decide to go ahead with the wedding, I would tell each of the warring parties, separately and privately, that she either can suck it up and act polite and gracious for one day, or she can stay home--and to let you know ahead of time which choice that will be. I also would have a (large!) relative or friend ready to escort out anyone who tries to make a scene. I would seat them far apart, and tell them that all they have to do is be polite when and if they should find themselves in the same space together. If they can't give you an iron-clad, verbal guarantee of good behavior, then I would encourage them to stay home, because you do not have to put up with their sh#t on your wedding day. Oh, and let Sis know that baby-daddy is not invited (maybe then she'll stay home in a huff and you don't have to worry about her MOH duties).
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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brownegirl Posts : 523 Registered: 10/14/08
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 9:02 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

They say you can choose your friends but not your family. Unfortunately, that is just too true. Weddings just bring this sort of thing to the fore. I agree with the PPs. I would give them the option to stay home if they can't get along on that day. Your wedding day is a day that you should be able to enjoy. I think meeting each other in the middle of the aisle is a lovely idea. It will be great. Don't worry.

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CountryPrincess Posts : 673 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 9:11 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Wow! Do we have the same family?! My father & mother divoriced when I was 3 and they can not stand eachother at all. They've been in the same room only a handful of times since their divorice and each time is a complete nightmare. My mother doesn't talk to my sister becuase of crap that happened when my 29 year old sister was 12. My sister won't let my mom see her children either. My mom also doesn't talk to her own mother because of a crap load of stuff that happened over 5 years ago. My sister doesn't even talk to me. She's a drama filled crazy beotch of a person. Yet...I'm inviting her because it'd break my grandma's & older aunt's heart if the whole family wasn't there. My dad is always biting his tongue to keep from calling me a failure because I'm not going into biochemistry like the rest of the family did. I hope that you shows you that you aren't alone in the craziness.

Counseling would be good for you and your FH. I brought a lot of personal issues into FH & I's relationship that I didn't even know I had. When we started premartial counseling with our pastor, it made me realize exactly how much my family's drama was impacting my life & relationships.

For your sister, tell her to politely back off. She needs to be told that this isn't her wedding and she can't undermind your decisions. That's not her place.

For all the drama, I will tell you what we're doing. I have told my mother, my father, and my sister that they need to behave. They don't have to talk to eachother, but they MUST be civilized. If any of them start a fight of any sort, or make rude/ignorant remarks, they will be asked to leave the wedding. I am inviting everyone for the sake of other family members. However, if they have bad behavior at the wedding and start a scene it will not be tolerated. I have warned my wedding coordinator of this and have given her permission to ask any of them (mainly my sister) to leave if she feels it is necessary. I would strongly advise you to do something similiar. It may seem harsh to more or less have a "bouncer" for your wedding. But I'm doing it simply so it doesn't put me in a bad situation. I invite everyone and please my family, so when one of them acts up and has to leave it looks bad on them, not me. You truely should do something similiar!

"I don't care how much it hurts. I don't care if its a brick wall disaster. I'd rather fight with you everday than be happy for one second with anyone else." <3

Kevin & Mari: 11/09/06 to Forever.

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 10, 2009 9:17 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Wow.

You need to have a sit down with your sister and tell her that she is maid of honor, not wedding planner-defacto bride.

Let her know that:

1. You and your FH issue the invites, not her. The father of her child is not invited. Use the "No Ring, No Bring" rule.

2. You will decide how the ceremony goes, and that includes who will be walking you down the aisle. You already ruled out the parents due to their inability to behave. You didn't want to hurt either one by giving only one the honor of walking you down the aisle...but because there is such animosity between them, they can't put it aside for one day. You've chosen a beautiful alternative.

3. You expect her to behave towards your mother during the ceremony and reception (you expect your mother to do the same). Your mother has been down right evil to your sister, and I don't truly blame her for her attitude. But your sister needs to understand that you will have someone there to remove any parties who start things--and that includes the maid of honor.


You need to sit your mom down and tell her that you understand her feelings and how hard it will be for her to be around these people who hurt her (butter up the gal), but that they are important to you. And you want all of the special people in your life to be there. But you will not tolerate a brawl or hitting of guests or yelling at guests. You expect her to act like a mature adult. You will have a person there who will remove anyone who starts anything, and that includes the mother of the bride.

And if they continue -- don't invite them. Yes, it's mom and yes, it's sister. But if they want to act like ignoramuses, then they do not deserve the honor of attending your wedding.

Good luck!

Misty

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 11, 2009 1:15 AM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Dear Misty,

I agree with everything you said.

Especially: "But if they want to act like ignoramuses"

I haven't thought of the word ignoramus in years!!!!

I'm going to start using that again. I know so many people for whom the shoe fits.

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luckygohappy Posts : 8 Registered: 3/10/09
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 11, 2009 4:27 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Our pastor is requiring us to do premarital counseling, and our next meeting with him will be on Monday. I'm definitely going to mention this whole situation to him, both because he should be aware of the possibility of a scene at the wedding, and because he might be able to help come up with a solution.

Also, since our venue allows us to bring in alcohol, they're requiring us to pay for a security guard (I believe it'll be a police officer) for the night. I'll see if we can talk to the security guard ahead of time to let them know about this (and also about a former friend who may show up uninvited and would be guaranteed to cause a scene if she did).

My FH and I also plan to make sure that his immediate family and the wedding party are all at least aware that my mom & sister don't get along and may cause a scene or try to drag them into their drama.

(And yes, while my mom has been evil to my sister, my sister has been equally evil to our mom.)

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 11, 2009 9:07 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

Everything that you say you're going to do is fine. But THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is to speak to the guilty parties ahead of time and make sure that they understand: Behave or Stay Home!

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Shawnsfuturebride Posts : 1 Registered: 3/14/09
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 14, 2009 7:26 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

I am kind of in the same boat but not really . I love family it is the biggest thing to me and in my life i'm just sorry to say my family isn't the same way (most of them anyways) . I am an only child from my mother and I have an older brother who is married to a wonderful woman from my father . But I am the only girl between the two .

My mother's family they are close but a little hmm i guess backwoods would be the proper term . My FH and I wanted a small wedding with our closest family there you know mothers, fathers his sisters and his older sisters kids .

I guess the issue started with my mother . She doesnt look at it as my day or her day she's just thinking about it as a family reunion . she got upset with me when i told her it would only be a select few . I told her I wanted my aunt to be there ( her sister ) They get along great and I am super close to her so that was fine only thing is she has a daughter who has three monster children and a a**hole boyfriend. my mother got upset when i said she is not allowed to come but now i am afraid to invite my aunt because it would be so simple for my cousin to jump in the car with 3 kids and the a**hole boyfriend .

then it started with i said my grandparents could come because i was thinking my granfather who is a ordained minister to marry us . My mothers other sister lives with them and the issue with her is shes a control freak and EVERYTHING from going to the beach and what color to paint my cousins room is her way or no way . She's a very very big woman not only weight size but muscular like a man . I'm my fathers only daughter and i've always envisioned him walking me down the isle especially you know because he's made it clear that he wants to walk me down the isle . He did'nt get to attend his son's wedding and i thought it would be special for him . he's now the only one i want to invite on my side . I love my FH family everyone in his family knows how to behave i've known them for years we all have a pretty good relationship . I feel kind of bad because now we have decided to elope or well since it's not in secret have an intimate wedding just the 2 of us . and if we did decide to invite family's i could just imagine my family coming in with hunting/military gear on with shotguns in their hands and doing the whole scarface say hello to my little friend ordeal how do i know that if i were to hire security gaurds that we wouldnt get kicked out of the resort for a family war or etc . any suggestions guys ?

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EegrrBride Posts : 8 Registered: 11/3/08
Re: major family problems (sorry it's long!)
Posted: Mar 24, 2009 3:10 PM Go to message in response to: luckygohappy

I agree with all the other posters re: speaking to all the involved parties ahead of time.

In addition, I would look into a small, intimate, private ceremony (maybe w/ a JP) ahead of your big wedding. Invite just a handful of your nearest and dearest to witness, wear a little white dress, and go out to dinner after somewhere special. Then have the big wedding be a lessing of the vows or something - that way, you have a perfect little teeny celebration with absolutely no interruptions or scandal, to remember exactly the way you want it.

(Heaven knows, what if someone throws a punch as you're just about to walk down the aisle and the whole thing goes up in smoke!)

Good luck.....

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